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Gil

When, oh when will PS RESUME (RANT/WHINE)

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Do you ever feel that people (in your neighborhood/life) are trying to pawn their kids off on you during school breaks because you are (percieved as being) available due in large part to being a homeschooler? I hope that I'm not the only one. Its almost 2am here and if I don't get this off my chest, I won't be able to sleep.

 

What part of "home schooler" translates to "on-demand availability for your needs?" I mean...really people. Honestly, I'm burned out enough dealing with my own hellions and I don't like children as it is. (Resident minors excepted, of course.) My own two are pretty much my limit. It feels like almost every day we have extra kids in our yard and slowly working their way into my house to call on someone, play with something, ask for something etc...

 

I've had more than three parents "let me know" their kids are home today since "I'm around during the day." as if my being in my home, while they are away from theirs implies I'm going to be some sort of "back up" childcare for them.

 

Uhm...no. You'd better put your spawn in Day-care, because my being home does NOT equate to me automatically providing remote-over sight for your spawn. My hands are full with my own spawn, thank-you-very-much.

 

Also, contrary to what these kids seem to think, I'm not the Good Humor man, if you see my kids eating Ice Cream through the window/in my yard/on the street, NO you can not have some.

 

With the Winter break I am having the same tiring conversation 3-7 times a day, every day.

 

Yes, we are home as evidenced by the car in the yard.

No, you can not come in my house.

NO Buddy and Pal can't come out to play.

I'm sorry that you'll made plans at some point in the recent past, that is too bad.

Your moms not back yet? Your dad took the back-up key? You poor dear, now go away.

You may NOT use my computer.

You may NOT ride my kids bikes.

You can NOT come and go as you please on my steps/yard etc.

Yes we are reading today, however we do not provide on-demand read-aloud service. If you want a book, go to the library!

You want to use the computer? Ours is not public property so go home or to the nearest public computer!

WTH is going on? When did children lose the ability to entertain and look after themselves?

 

GRR!!!

 

 

I am ready, oh so extremely ready for public school to resume so that these extra kids will have somewhere else to be and something else to do. Sorry, not feeling the neighborly love much right now.

 

That is all.

 

 

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*slow clap*

 

At the same exact time people find homeschooling utterly confounding yet presume to know exactly how homeschoolers spend every moment of the day.

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I am just tired of people assuming that every time PS is on vacation I drop everything to make playdates the priority. No, we don't ride with PS schedule. We don't have the same availability.

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I am just tired of people assuming that every time PS is on vacation I drop everything to make laydates the priority. No, we don't ride with PS schedule. We don't have the same availability.

Is it bad that the "laydates" typo makes me giggle?

 

In my defense, it's late and I don't feel well.

 

:)

 

 

.

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There comes a time in most people's lives that they realize the happiest times were when they were kids or had kids. Get over it and enjoy the young laughter while you can. Soon enough, it all goes away.

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I'd just not answer the door or say we have a lot of Christmas vacation activities going on (which would be entirely true--rest is a school vacation activity).

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*slow clap*

 

At the same exact time people find homeschooling utterly confounding yet presume to know exactly how homeschoolers spend every moment of the day.

 

Exactly right. 

 

It's hard at times.  The reason schooling through summer really never worked for us when my kids were younger.  Everyone assumed we followed the school calendar so of course we were on vacation too. 

 

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This is exactly why we chose NOT to live in a neighborhood with a bunch of kids.  We live in a place where everyone has acreage and the houses are far apart, and there is no HOA or community pool, etc....

 

The only other kids in the neighborhood were not our kids' ages.

 

I have never had the issues you are talking about.  

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But what about socialization?  :coolgleamA:   :toetap05:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*just kidding* :001_tt2: vent away

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You have rude neighbors. That sounds very frustrating!

 

I don't mind being an emergency resource occasionally. My neighbor called me in desperate need a couple of times last winter because the public school had a two hour delay, and she needed someone to put her kids on the bus. It WAS an unusual winter, weather-wise, and she did have alternate plans but found herself stuck. I was happy to do that, and another set of neighbors knows that I will be happy to help them out with getting their daughter to or from school on days when the weather is too bad for her grandmother to help. To me, that sort of occasional pitching in is just being neighborly. Our neighbors have been so kind to us that any time I can repay that, I'm happy to do so. It helps that I have big kids who can help me with my own little ones in a pinch, I'm sure. And it's not frequent that my neighbors need help. I would not appreciate a frequent request "just because I'm home anyway." That's rude.

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What part of "home schooler" translates to "on-demand availability for your needs?" !

 

 

Can I vent with you?  Our family is having an awful time with this right now, too.   :grouphug:

 

I don't mind my kids playing with the ps kids, but when someone's kid is at my house for 8 hours and I've fed them two meals already, that's ENOUGH.  Every time they come over, I have to tell them to leave - they never leave on their own and the parents never freaking come back.  And they never reciprocate.  That's how I know they're dumping on us.  No one ever invites my kids over to their house.  And if my kids ask, "Hey, why don't we go to your house this time?" the neighbor's kids say, "My mom is taking a nap right now, so we can't have guests," or some stupid excuse like that.

 

Yeah, we're fed up, too.  And they look for our van in the driveway, too.  Ugh.  

 

Another serious issue we are having is people in charge of kids' activities thinking that because we homeschool, we have huge amounts of free time and are just available 24 hours a day.  Um...   :crying:   One lady even announced to about 50 kids to call our family *first* if they need someone to fill in for them, because we have much more free time since we homeschool.  Are you INSANE??????  (Yes, I'm shouting)  I have 5 kids and I'm teaching an 8th grader, a 7th grader, a 5th grader, a 2nd grader and I have a baby crawling all over the floor getting into everything.  Add to this the mountains of laundry, constantly cleaning and cooking, the stupid phone and doorbell ringing like crazy at the worst times (UPS somehow knows exactly when I'm nursing the baby), our 2 Australian shepherd puppies running all over the house, my husband's 12 hour a day work schedule...  Lady, are you crazy???   :cursing:   Do you know what it's like in here???

 

And, no offense, but I have two kids working at a high school level and have both decided they want to be doctors.  I just can't "cancel school" all the time anymore.  They're too old for that.  And I definitely can't cancel school for a week so my teenagers can make crafts all day with other people's 6 year-olds (Activity Lady)!

 

Thanks for letting me vent.  You may return to your regularly-scheduled program.   :hat:

 

Edited to add:  Reading my post to myself...apparently, I'm a huge doormat...

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 The reason schooling through summer really never worked for us when my kids were younger.  Everyone assumed we followed the school calendar so of course we were on vacation too. 

 

 

We school year-round and this is a huge problem for us, too.  Our doorbell rang so much one summer, I almost disconnected it.

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I have a handy-dandy sign I put on the door: "Homeschooling in Progress. Please Do Not Disturb." I've even been known to put the sign up when we are not having homeschool. Of course, that sign only works if the person who is going to ring the doorbell can read.

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Have you tried putting a sign up on your door/door bell?  I remember using and needing a small sign on the door (and a message on the phone) that said we were busy with lessons and to visit later.

 

You might need to be a little direct with adults too if they call or text that you are their free childcare.  I know it's hard with neighbors; you have my sympathy.  

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I wish we had a little bit of your problem.(Not to your extent, lol)  We live in a great neighborhood.  But there are only 2 kids other than mine.  And boys not my boys' ages. It's sad.  I lived in a community growing up where all the houses were open for kids and pretty much everyone had kids to play with.  You went out in your back yard and instantly there were kids to play with.  That was a wonderful childhood.  Now, I have to plan playdates and more often than not, it just doesn't happen.

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We have very considerate neighbors in this regard. I am hearing a lot of being dumped on in your post, and I'm sorry you're facing that. I do hear a little "My kid wants to play with your kids because he's on his break" in there that might not be dumping. And some "My kids are old enough to stay home, but I feel better if someone who lives in sight of us knows they are home along" going on too. Those are things that people in our neighborhood do whether or not they intend to dump their kids on someone.

 

I would take the first sentiment as their kids wanting to include your kids in their play and then educate them on when your kids will be available. 

 

None of my suggestion is meant to make you feel as though your rant is off-topic. I think you are being used as convenient adult oversight for the neighbors. How intentional it is would be somewhat defined by neighborhood culture, the number of families you're talking about, etc.

 

I hope you find a good way to deflect the "responsibility" and still get your own priorities accomplished. Oh, even when our neighbor lets her son come over to play inside, she gives him a timeframe. If you are going to take anyone up on playdates, you could let the kids coming over know the time limit and what they will be doing. We usually specify what's going on--coding on the laptop, playing games, legos, whatever. It's not generally a free-for-all from one end of the house to the other. And there aren't usually snacks. 

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When I lived in a blue collar neighborhood this was a big problem indeed. Everything you listed. Later when we moved to more upper middle class suburbia it was not, but then the neighbors were impossible to connect with sometimes. But it was a lot better. I am sorry, lol. I really am. I do think that people assume that if you home school you are nurturing and want to help them. Not a cool assumption. Also, you probably make your life look easier than it is. Competent people tend to do that. Other people assume you have an easy life, when in fact you work constantly to keep your life moving forward. Other people think you are on a magical cruise mode moving forward and it isn't fair and you should help them, lol.

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I have a handy-dandy sign I put on the door: "Homeschooling in Progress. Please Do Not Disturb." I've even been known to put the sign up when we are not having homeschool. Of course, that sign only works if the person who is going to ring the doorbell can read.

 

 

Your sign is nicer than mine would be.

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We've never had this problem and we've lived in one neighborhood with a bunch of kids and in two neighborhoods with very few. I don't expect the 98% of the parents of school aged children who send their kids to an institutional school (public or private) to have a good grasp of the lifestyle of the 2% of people who homeschool.  How could they?

I used to school year round when my older two were younger because that's what worked for us and most of their social lives involved other homeschoolers with the same lifestyle and school schedule.  But like all stages of life, that evolved over time, so we had to adapt accordingly.  As they got involved in more activities and friendships developed with neighbor kids, we changed because I'm not the homeschooler who thinks I'm all the socialization my kid needs.  (Yes, I know 2 families who think that way.) So we followed some of the breaks for a while and now we follow the school year because my youngest daughter's best friend is in ps and we want to maximize their time together.  I'm not saying every homeschooler has to make the same decisions, I'm saying to pay attention to see if the problems are an indication that you've hit a new stage of homeschooling and need to adapt accordingly.

Are you living in a neighborhood that has a subculture where people expect free daycare from a neighbor? I've never heard of that.  I grew up in a rural blue collar neighborhood and have lived in white collar suburbia neighborhoods my entire adult life. It's perfectly culturally normal, as far as I know, for kids in a neighborhood to play together during breaks.  When else would kids in institutional schools play with the neighbor kids? I wouldn't take offense at the neighbor kids regularly including mine and I have no expectation that the neighbors or their kids would keep my schedule in their heads and work around it.  

I have no problem telling a kid it's time to go home. I'm surprised by people who are uncomfortable with this. If I knew a kid was prone to over staying and/or their parents were prone to leaving so the kid couldn't go home any time I decided they needed to leave  then I would only allow them to come over after I had discussed with the parent what time the kid could come and what time the parent would pick the child up or what time the parent would be home so I could send the child home.  If those times didn't work for me, I wouldn't allow the child over.  I just don't think it's a big demanding deal for me to talk to the parents and get their phone numbers. I keep the list of the neighbors' phone numbers in my kitchen.  When their kid comes to the door wanting to play it's not really much trouble for me to call them, see about an end time and then say, "Yes, that works for us." or "Sorry, that isn't going to work for us today.  Maybe some other time." and then send the child home.

What I'm saying is that I think some regular effort should be expected to be made by a homeschooling parent when it comes to their child's social life and I don't think a homeschooling parent should resent it.  It's not all or nothing.  Minimal efforts to have neighbor parent contact info and a quick call doesn't seem like asking much.  Neither should the neighbor parents expect free childcare from you.  They should expect to ask if now is a good time, they should expect to ask when you need them to pick up their child or when you want to send them home.  But in life, people don't always do what they should, so the homeschooling parent should expect to be the one to ask those questions if the other parent didn't volunteer the information.

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My neighbors' kids are at grandparents for school holidays. I only see them around after dinner time on school nights.

 

School starts back on Monday here. :grouphug:

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Everyone in my neighborhood is old and/or childless. I've been sad in the past my kids had no one to play with but when I read about neighborhood bullies, lack of boundaries, neighborhood parents taking advantage, I'm thinking it's probably for the best.

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Your kids are lucky you live in a neighborhood with kids that want to play with your children!  It's great for them to have friends.  In fact, my kids want to schedule their homeschool breaks (you take breaks, I hope!) around the public school vacations because they want to play with their friends, so I do that  because I feel fortunate there are kids around to play with.  Some kids grow up really isolated and lonely because they have no peers available.

 

Our neighborhood is a free-for-all, with kids running around, in and out of everyone's house, all summer long and during vacations.  It's great!  That doesn't mean you are a babysitter; it just means your kids are playing with other kids.  There is an unspoken  understanding in our neighborhood that parents are ultimately responsible for their kids, no matter who's house they are at, and no one would presume someone else is a babysitter for the day.  If anyone misbehaves or things get overwhelming, it's easy to say "OK, you all have no go now, because we are taking a break".

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I taught the boys to tell the waifs when it was time to go . I did send home children who werent playing with my children. One lad wanted to come back and join us in reading time after lunch. I could sense the hunger. He woke his intellect up....just a huge relief for him to be under a roof where curiosity was accepted and reading was part of life. Do teach your boys to manage their schedule..being a child with a purpose is helpful.

For those looking for free lunch, I kept peanut butter and bread and seasonal fruit. Day old bread goes to the schools here for those who dont have a lunch; when school is out of session its given to the community via the library.PB is available thru the community food pantry and men 's civic associations. Fallen apples come from orchard owners. kids that have been taught not to accept food will accept if its mealtime, since its presented as not wasting donated food rather than charity or taking our limited food supply.bicycles are available from the church and tne high school shop class if you need one for a visitor.

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I have definitely been victim of the assumption that homeschooling is synonymous with ever-available. Not necessarily to provide unpaid child care, but to do whatever other thing they want: go here, go there, pick up this, stop by there. I want to say, "Look, man. I have a full-time occupation. It's educating my kids."

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I have a handy-dandy sign I put on the door: "Homeschooling in Progress. Please Do Not Disturb." I've even been known to put the sign up when we are not having homeschool. Of course, that sign only works if the person who is going to ring the doorbell can read.

We still do this with only a high schooler. I started using a red sign so the kids don't even have to come into the yard. They can see it from the street.

 

Dd best friend is in public school so I try to match our breaks with ps when we can.

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I don't mind being the "mom on call" in case of emergencies. I have never had a child call or come to get me even though my name and phone number are on about a dozen different refrigerators. I also hold keys for a few houses in case kids lose theirs. None of this requires me to limit my schedule in any way, though. I would also do these things if we weren't homeschoolers  - It's just being a good neighbor around here.  

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Can I vent with you?  Our family is having an awful time with this right now, too.   :grouphug:

Of course! Misery loves company, lol

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Thanks for letting me vent.  You may return to your regularly-scheduled program.   :hat:

 

Edited to add:  Reading my post to myself...apparently, I'm a huge doormat...

Geesh! I'll take honorable mention, you get 1st place. For me, your situation would be just too much of everything!

I'd lose my mind!

 

Schools starts next week (Thank the good lord!) so just through the weekend and I'm home free!

 

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I had a "friend" who called up to see if her girls could have a playdate--she was starting as a new ps teacher and had to be at training, but the ps wasn't in session yet. I pointed out that she had never asked to get the girls together before, and as a day-care provider, I was sure she'd understand that MY going rate was $3 an hour. Per kid. She was flabbergasted! Um, lady, I'm not your free babysitter!

 

This was many years ago. Now I find that folks think it's okay to ask my kid to drive theirs around. I almost liked it better when dd's license didn't allow another teen in the car. 

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I don't mind being the "mom on call" in case of emergencies. I have never had a child call or come to get me even though my name and phone number are on about a dozen different refrigerators. I also hold keys for a few houses in case kids lose theirs. None of this requires me to limit my schedule in any way, though. I would also do these things if we weren't homeschoolers - It's just being a good neighbor around here.

 

Yep, I do this too for several of our neighbors. We've not had "the emergency" call, but we have had the " early snow day " call or the "mom's not home" call. I'm totally happy to help out on these occasions. Like you said it's part of being a good neighbor. It's the " it's fall break"lack of supervision/ problems that have plagued our family. Parents need to make some provisions for their young children for these two weeks.

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Poor thing! I'd be hiding behind closed blinds! I detest the assumption that I'm home all day and available whenever you call, flexible and on-call are not synonymous!

 

I remember a couple of years ago, I made sure to tell everyone that we were starting school and really needed a few weeks to get the schedule underway before we could be a bit flexible again. Guess how many people called that first week? Not one, not two, but three!!! They were all so surprised (and a little snippy!) When I said no. No. Nononononono.

What solved it? Moving 90mins away lol, now everything requires planning. :)

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When I 1st became a SAH homeschool parent, I was looked to as a go to as last minute childcare bail out from friends and neighbors whenever school let out early for snowy weather, school had a random teacher inservice day, or for last minute work meetings that came up for other parents. Each friend or neighbor didn't realize I was asked so often by so many people that what started out being a favor here and there turned into a burden. I really don't mind a reciprocal relationship of "I will bail you out once in awhile in a childcare bind and you bail me out." Or even, "I will keep an eye out on your kids while you run an errand, and I may ask the same from time to time." Only thing is, the others that called upon me regularly have too busy schedules to reciprocate. Most people I said to once or twice, asked more often. I started saying no and could tell they were ticked even though they tried not to show it. They see it as I don't work so I am flexible. Keeping their kids on the fly isn"t inconvenient to me but having to keep their own kids when work and school schedules don"t match up is inconvenient to them. I had so many requests, that I had to start saying no to everybody except a couple that I knew would be able and eagerly willing to reciprocate if I were to get into a childcare bind. I won't even start on the calls about church social events and service projects that I am expected to volunteer for since "I don't work!" And totally OT from childcare, when someone is sick in our congregation and I call to arrange a meal delivery rotation, the working parents say no because they are too busy with work, yet most have been on the receiving end of meals made by the retired or SAHP crowd when they were sick or had babies.

 

There is a huge balance as a SAHP between being an available neighbor who will step in as a Good Samaritan to help out in an emergency situation as needed or help a neighbor in a bind out vs. being a doormat for other neighbors or friends to use as an ever available childcare resource or neighborhood look out. What OP is describing is refusing to cross the line and step into the doormat role. Good for you!

 

My advice? If you don't want advice, just ignore since the thread is a vent. A sign on door or a flag signal in the yard when other kids are not allowed over. Tell the parents as well as the kids. Have a talk with parents in the neighborhood stating that you have your own responsibilities and being home does not equal being responsible for kids other than your own, giving leeway for emergency situations of course. If your boys are in and out of others' homes playing, I would allow certain times for neighborhood kids to play in and out of your house as long as the kids are respectful. If you prefer your kids to only play outdoors when away from your house, I would allow outside only play when the neighbor kids come over. If you want your kids to eventually have good hang out buddies in the neighborhood, it will unlikely happen if you say no to having company over too often. Don't feel bad or unneighborly if you decide not provide food for the other kids'. If other kids have to leave while your kids eat snacks and meals, just say, "We need you to leave and come back in x minutes." If they peer through the windows, tell them to stop. If they don't stop, well, IDK. Getting a fierce dog is off the table. Just rejoice PS starts back next week?

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Oh, don't even get me started on reciprocating. Most people who ask a stay at home parent for this kind of favor have no intention of reciprocating at all. I started saying no when I realized how much this was putting a burden on dh who was working to keep me at home most days. He would come home to us needing to catch up on school work, late dinner, bigger grocery bills because all these people expect you to feed their kid snacks, and it was not fair to him. The OP is a single parent. It is really uncool to expect him to deal with this stuff from other people.

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I wish we had a little bit of your problem.(Not to your extent, lol)  We live in a great neighborhood.  But there are only 2 kids other than mine.  And boys not my boys' ages. It's sad.  I lived in a community growing up where all the houses were open for kids and pretty much everyone had kids to play with.  You went out in your back yard and instantly there were kids to play with.  That was a wonderful childhood.  Now, I have to plan playdates and more often than not, it just doesn't happen.

 

This is exactly our issue. The two that are close to our kids ages are never home due to sports.

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